Matador Dance Studio, is the culmination of a lifelong dream for award-winning dancer Grigori Sedrakyan. After three years of having to rent studio space, the classically trained dancer finally has a studio he can call his own.
Matador, at 1814 Flower St. in Glendale, celebrated its grand opening Wednesday.
Sedrakyan, who co-owns Matador Dance Studio with wife, Lilia, was all smiles about his new studio and the opportunities that await him.
“It’s like a story that never ends,” Sedrakyan said of his new studio. “I try to pass whatever I achieve, whatever I have, all this, to my students. It feels really good.”
Before opening Matador Dance Studio, Sedrakyan would have to rent space at various locations.
Matador, Sedrakyan said, is bigger and offers better amenities than his old studios. The Flower Street studio offers space for private instruction, showers, a kitchen and waiting room. Currently under construction are a gym and a store that will be offered to parents to buy dance supplies.
“Everything is different about this studio,” said Ani Avetyan, whose daughter, Ani Ratevosian, is a student of Sedrakyan’s. “It’s much bigger and much nicer.”
Having his own studio also gives him the freedom to come in whenever he wants, giving his students more freedom to schedule private instruction and for other instructors to schedule group classes, Sedrakyan said.
Sedrakyan offers classes for people of all ages — his youngest student is 5, and his oldest student is 91. He tailors his teaching style to fit his student’s age. Matador offers classes in international Latin dancing (Sedrakyan’s specialty), ballroom dancing, international ballroom dancing, salsa, samba and rumba. Other classes Matador is looking to introduce include ballet and hip-hop.
Sedrakyan began dancing in his native Armenia. He has been an instructor and student in Moscow, where he also competed. Sedrakyan has also competed and taught in Ukraine and Lebanon.
When Sedrakyan moved to the United States, he began competing with partner Lilit Avagryan. The couple went on to win the U.S. nationals, becoming one of the top dance couples in the country. Avagryan is now an instructor at Matador. For now, Sedrakyan has stopped competing professionally so he can concentrate his efforts on teaching his students, he said.
Sedrakyan has also choreographed shows in Las Vegas, most recently assisting on the choreography for the show “Le RÃªve.”
Sedrakyan, 27, has been teaching since he was 16, mentoring new students in Armenia. By the time he began teaching, Sedrakyan was already a dance champion.
“I’m happy that we have this studio,” said Matador Dance Studio student and instructor Mariam Narinyan, 18. “This one, I can come here any time. We have all the time here. It’s much bigger. It’s like the ballroom where I go and compete.”
The new studio, Narinyan said, will give her more time to practice — up to three or four hours, compared to the one hour she would have at the old studios. Practicing for only one hour made her feel unprepared for competition, Narinyan said.
“This studio is more fun for them,” said Armine Boulankian of West Hollywood, whose three kids are enrolled in classes at the studio.
Dance student Nare Aharonyan said the old studio was cramped, and “most people didn’t get to dance.” Aharonyan said the new studio will give her more opportunities to dance, given that it’s much bigger, and more freedom to express herself by taking advantage of a bigger space.
“Anybody can come here for their health, and to learn how to dance,” Narinyan said.